Author Archive for: ryanBrenizer
About Ryan Brenizer
I have been blessed by photography. It has filled me with purpose and joy, and taken me places I never thought I'd go. I have covered three U.S. presidents, been blessed by the Pope, and been stared down by Muhammad Ali. I've shared a laugh with Smokey Robinson, and had a picture I took of him used when he received a lifetime achievement award. I've photographed a 110-year-old woman as she told me what it was like to climb onto the torch of the Statue of Liberty. I was chosen as the only independent photographer allowed near Obama and McCain in their last meeting before the 2008 election. I'm the only photographer in the world to have been officially represented by the three largest photographic retailers in the Western hemipshere. Heck, I've even had a photographic technique named after me (which is crazy).
But I have never felt so blessed by photography as when I am photographing a wedding. At weddings, we are most visibly ourselves -- the walls we walk around with come tumbling down under the forces of joy, anxiety (and sometimes a bit of alcohol). To document that experience, the relationship of friends, families, and a couple launching a new stage in their life, is an incredible feeling. When a client says "This is the first picture I've seen of my parents that actually looks like them!" I feel like I've done something with lasting value. And to do that with so many wonderful couples, from down the Manhattan street to as far away as Singapore, makes it all the better.
Cathy and Glenn had a gorgeous wedding at the Central Park Boathouse on Saturday. But there was just one little problem — the only way to easily get to the Boathouse is on foot, normally a lovely little jaunt through the park. But right as they reached the edge of the park, right when guests would be trickling in, the skies opened and it began to pour.
The timing couldn’t have been worse for them, as the logistical problems piled up, but they handled things calmly and efficiently.
“Hey guys,” I said. “I know you’ve been handed a tough situation. If you come about five feet to the left, we can use this terrible weather to take some great photos. This will pass soon and you’ll just have a great story to tell.”
And so we did.
The next night, Cathy sent me a gracious message: “Thank you for making lemonade out of lemons.”
I love this job.
1. Maintain a strict sense of decorum. These are the photos that will end up on the mantle for generations to see, and the parents and older relatives will want to order copies.
2. To make that easier, try and get these photos done before the alcohol is served.
3. Never upstage the bride and groom. They are the stars of the show.
4. Make sure that you get a clear, flattering shot of everyone in the party, that way everyone will order copies.
5. To heck with it. Gauge the desires and attitude of your bride and groom, and the party. Wedding photography shouldn’t be one-size-fits-all.